Dónal Óg Cusack has revealed that a referee called foul on an All-Ireland final trick play that he had worked out with Diarmuid O'Sullivan before the ball had even been thrown in.

The former All Star goalkeeper had worked out a plan with his full-back O’Sullivan before the 2004 decider with Kilkenny that was designed to fool the Cats.

Just to be sure, manager Dónal O’Grady ran it past match-referee Aodhán Mac Suibhne, who said he’d blow up the trick play.

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"I remember going into the 2004 All-Ireland final that we had worked on when the ball would go out of play that Diarmuid O’Sullivan would actually work his way back to the goal, I would work the way out the field as if I was communicating with the outfield players," explained Cusack, speaking on the latest edition of the RTÉ GAA Podcast.

"Diarmuid would then hit the ball to me – that was going to happen in the All-Ireland final.

"But I remember before the final Dónal came down to me and said he’d been talking to the referee about what we were going to do with the puck-out and that he (the referee) wasn’t going to have anything to do with it.

"Dónal told us not to do it, even though I argued with him that it was totally legal for that to happen. It’s a pity. Or maybe we were better off that we didn’t try it in case it went wrong!"

As it happens, there was no need to worry as the Rebels won that final with a bit to spare, ending Kilkenny’s hopes of an All-Ireland three in-a-row.

RTE GAA analyst Dónal Óg Cusack

Cusack was known as an innovator during his playing days in goals with Cork, though he credits a long list of coaches that he worked with for helping him along the way.

He was the first 'keeper to consistently use the short puck-out, which was highly controversial at the time.

"There were a lot of people involved in it," he said. "I remember as far back as '99 having conversations with Teddy Owens who was Cork trainer at the time, he had played football and soccer, and that was the first time we were looking at the numbers of our puck-outs.

"We realised that most of our puck-outs, which were mostly long, we were losing them. It was a logical thing to say that we needed to work on that. We had absolutely fantastic coaches; Dónal O’Grady would have been very strong on it in terms of encouraging players to take risks."